So I’ve decided to go on a hiatus from Razzball. It has nothing to do with Razzball itself, as I think this is a great fantasy site, with the best fantasy sports community I have seen. It has everything to do with me trying to limit my time spent on fantasy baseball, because life is getting crazy. I’m still considering writing again at some point once everything settles down [Jay’s Note: Please do, you’ve certainly spoiled us my friend.], but who knows when that will happen. With this post, I decided that it might be helpful to go over a few things I’ve learned during my time here:

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My name is Tom Jacks and I’m here to admit that I have a fantasy baseball trade addiction. While I’ve been trying to do my best to keep it from getting out of hand, I’m pretty sure I’ve either made the most or am tied for making the most trades in every single league I’m in this year. So it should come as no surprise that one of my favorite times of the year is approaching in real baseball: trade season. With that in mind, I figured it would be worth taking a look at some of the players who could be traded and how it would affect their value in OBP leagues:

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After the first couple months of a season, we start to get enough at bats to make informed decisions about how the current season may suggest a change in a player’s future performance from what we previously expected. Or do we? Yes, yes we do. But sometimes people overreact to recent information. Let’s call it recency bias because I think that’s its actual name. However, just because a sample size in the current season is statistically significant doesn’t mean we should ignore a larger sample (the player’s entire career). My preference is to investigate whether there is a reason why a player’s performance may have changed, from both a statistical perspective and due to any reported personal issues (injury, new baby, divorce, etc.). The idea is to see if it tells a story, which admittedly involves some subjectivity, but I think it helps place statistics in their proper context. This helps determine the likelihood that a player will approach their previous numbers or maintain their current performance. This is my long-winded way of saying that I’m looking at some players who have had at least one stretch of a drastic change from their expectations in 2014:

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I’d like to begin this OBP roundup by mentioning one of my favorite points that’s been discussed in the comments before: OBP and OPS are worth looking at in leagues that don’t use them. For example, if a player has a high OBP, then he has a greater likelihood of getting runs relative to a player with a lower OBP. The same goes for OPS or slugging, either of which can be a proxy for players who get homers, extra base hits, and rbis. These stats obviously have more value in leagues that use them, but they should be given attention in leagues that do not include them because they suggest which players have more value and are likely to retain their value over the course of the season. Anyway, time for a good ol’ fashioned OBP roundup:

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One of the main reasons I enjoy writing for Razzball is that I haven’t encountered another fantasy baseball site where the commenters are this active and generally friendly with each other. Another great thing is that even the comments are worth reading because there tends to be some nice insight. Example A is Principal Blackman, likely a pseudonym for Charlie Blackmon, who said this last week, “How about a little love for Shin-Soo Choo’s .432 OBP & .929 OPS? Both would be career highs (the Arlington effect?), but they are not wildly (unbelievably) out of line with his career averages (.391/.858), and they are right in line with the advances he made last year… ZiPS and Steamer both foresee some regression on the way for him, and indeed a .392 average on balls in play would blow his career BABIP (.352) out of the water. And at the same time, his K% has dipped below the league average, but, on the other hand, he has maintained the improvements he made last year to his already stellar walk rate, and since the beginning of the 2013 season he only has one infield popup (none this year).” Since then, Choo has slumped a bit and had his OPS dip below .900. I expect to see him around that level all year, while maintaining his ~.420 OBP. Anyway, here are some other players on my mind in OBP leagues:

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If anything, highlighting Giancarlo Stanton after doing just that a couple weeks ago means that David Ortiz finally has a worthy challenger to the OPS league crown. Regardless, I’m not changing my picture (at least not yet). Anyway, since I recently discussed how Stanton is arguably #1 in OPS leagues, I was curious to see who has a higher slugging than Giancarlo and take a closer look at those players. On a semi-related note, I’m going to do another OBP roundup next week and will include as many of the players suggested in this week’s comments (first come, first served? typed? discussed?) because I decided on that as I was typing this sentence and now seems like a good place to end it. So here are the guys who have had a higher slugging than Mr. Stanton in 2014:

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Carlos Santana finally seems to be showing signs of life in the past week. Despite a league-leading 35 walks, his .328 OBP is merely average. I’m confident that he will continue to approach his typical ~.370 OBP going forward. He’s not hitting as many line drives as you’d like to see, but this seems to be one of those situations where his BABIP should improve somewhat dramatically. On a different note, I was blown away by this year’s Riot Fest lineup. Anybody going this year? It was definitely a good time last year. Anyway, here are some other guys on my mind and what it means in OBP leagues:

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I’m not here to tell you that Giancarlo Stanton is a great player because I’ve already done that. However, his hot start has me questioning just how good he really is. I understand that you never want to overrate the first month of a season (I’m looking at you, Jose Abreu), but Stanton has had many stretches like this before. He currently has a .294/.385/.610 line and the crazy thing is that there aren’t any red flags. Sure, his average is a little higher than you’d expect, but he’s hitting more line drives and, with as hard as he hits the ball, you’d expect a higher batting average as a result. It’s always difficult to make the case for taking anybody above Mike Trout, regardless of the format. Still, I believe there’s a reasonable argument for taking Stanton with the first pick in a keeper or redraft league, where slugging is heavily weighted, batting average is replaced with OBP, and steals aren’t valued highly. Feel free to chime in – I’m curious where you would rank him in an OPS league if a draft was held today. Anyway, here are some other guys on my mind and their impact on OPS leagues:

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I figured it was finally time to switch things up and have an OBP-only post every now and then (thanks to the many of you who commented with this idea). This will be an attempt to run through a lot more players, instead of the usual handful I cover in the OPS posts. I’m still working through the format and how often I’ll do this, so feel free to chime in with your thoughts in the comments. We’re only one month into the season, so it’s important not to overreact, but there are quite a few players that have produced interesting results. Here’s my take for what it means in OBP leagues:

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Who could have predicted that Justin Morneau would have a career revival after moving to Coors Field? Nearly everybody. Yes, he’s clearly benefitting from his favorable home park, but he’s also hitting well on the road. He appears to be swinging at nearly everything and, fortunately, is hitting it so far. However, this approach isn’t sustainable, even in Coors. I think he’s a great sell-high candidate if you can find somebody who believes that he’s going to maintain anywhere near this level of performance due to his new home ballpark. Even with some regression, I think the park and aggressive approach will allow him to have a noticeable improvement from his past couple seasons, with a .280/.350/.480 line going forward. This is roughly his career slash line, so it’s a reasonable expectation for him. Anyway, here are some other players on my mind and what it means for OPS and OBP leagues:

Please, blog, may I have some more?